Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy Magazine and star of the reality show “Girls Next Door,” died Wednesday at the age of 91.
Hefner’s death was announced on the Playboy Twitter account:
A statement from a Playboy spokesperson to People reads, “Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones.”
Cooper Hefner, son of Hugh, said in a statement, “My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom.”
“He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history. He will be greatly missed by many, including his wife Crystal, my sister Christie and my brothers David and Marston, and all of us at Playboy Enterprises,” the statement concluded.
Before his death, Hefner reportedly bought a Los Angeles burial plot right next to Marilyn Monroe.